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This year we celebrate 20 years of the Brantford & District Labour Centre.

A place as trade unionists we have grown, we have trained, we have organized and we have collectively fought back against a trickle down system that has failed miserably.

This non-profit building is a testament to the contribution the working class and labour that has built this community.

Operated by a Volunteer Board of Directors this building rose out a dream and was built with the assistance of a Provincial NDP that saw the value in working with Organized Labour and our Partner Agencies.

This place is not just office space it’s a living breathing entity where some of the most vulnerable from our community turn to seek a hand up, or free legal advice that would be way out of their pay scale

Daily our lobby is overflowing as people register with the food bank

From young parents and their children struggling under the new norm of precarious part time work, far too many stuck on the Brantford temp agency treadmill.

Single parents who would like to work but can’t afford childcare or drug benefits on minimum wage

Those rejected by the Employment Insurance System that was supposed to sustain them, or now penalizes them by reducing benefits and places higher qualification levels. All because successive Liberal and Conservative Governments have robbed the EI fund for the illusion of a balanced budget

Those stuck on the treadmill of trying to collect WSIB benefits. With the majority of claims automatically rejected, yes rejected unless you have left your life or limb on your workplace floor.

And finally to the seniors whose meager pensions have not kept pace and won’t sustain them to the end of the month.

While we celebrate our accomplishments we must also question why in a country as rich as Canada this has to happen at all.

Why has the wealth inequality shifted so drastically?

On October 19th we will again go to the polls to elect a new government.

Brothers and Sisters on this Labour Day on this 20th Anniversary of the Brantford and District Labour Centre we can make History

For the first time we can elect a government that shares our values and ambitions to have a better life for our kids our grand-kids, the life we expected for them, better than ours.

–        A life with a living wage not a minimum wage

–        A stronger manufacturing sector to provide those jobs

–        A country that recognizes the contributions of workers with a sustainable expansion of CPP not another scam to make the big banks and insurance companies billions more in profits.\

–        Affordable 15 dollar a day childcare

–        A government committed to collectively sitting down with our indigenous communities to honour our commitments, bring justice to their missing women and the atrocities of the residential schools

My friends these dreams are just one election away.

The Brantford District Labour Council is proud to endorse our local NDP Candidate Marc Laferriere and with our next Prime Minister Tom Mulcair they will bring the changes needed and dreamed about since the Centre was built and many years before.

Year in and year out only one politician and one party has supported labour in Brantford tirelessly supporting our causes and our vision for a better world at every step,

Some politicians like to make an appearance once a year or a photo op during an election but not Marc.

Marc is always a on the front lines and never shies away from his close affiliation with the labour movement and makes no apologies for it.

He’s committed to a stronger middle class, and to those struggling to stay there.  He works so hard for those struggling to get there with us which is just as important.

With our boots on the ground we can do this. We can stop Harper but only by voting NDP in Brantford-Brant! We can also stop the Liberals who always try to court the masses by campaigning to the left and then governing to the right!

 

-Don Guest

First Vice-President Brantford and District Labour Council and President USW Local 1-500